Provincial and Territorial Advocates
SCS has provincial advocates who support and advocate for humanist rights at the provincial, territorial and local levels. To contact the advocate for your province email that person at the email address given below.
Alberta (AB) & Northwest Territories (NT) —– Gordon Wolters ———————————– scsAB@secularconnexion.ca
British Columbia (BC) & Yukon (YT) ———— Alan Danesh ————————————— scsBC@secularconnexion.ca
Manitoba (MB) & Nunavut (NU) —————— Rick Dondo —————————————–scsMB@secularconnexion.ca
Maritimes (NB,NL,NS, PE) ————————- Age Smies ——————————————- scsNL@secularconnexion.ca
Ontario (ON) & Québec (QC)———————– Doug Thomas ————————————– scsON@secularconnexion.ca
Saskatchewan (SK) ———————————— Kayla Horan-Dmytruk ————————– scsSK@secularconnexion.ca
Why are There Provincial and Territorial Advocates?
From time to time, SCS receives requests for help with local and provincial issues involving discrimination against atheists. SCS is now setting up provincial contact people to monitor local and provincial issues. For the most part, these contact people will be asked to forward the information to the SCS office in Elmira. Then we can determine the action to take and from whom the response should come. SCS has set up a contact email for each province and territory – see Provincial contacts
For example, Karis Burkowski, co-author of Why Men Made God asked both the Kitchener and Waterloo branches of Chapters for the opportunity to display and sign the book in those two stores. She was told by both managers that they would not extend this normal courtesy to her because the book was too controversial and that they felt that members of the religious community would demonstrate against its display in the stores.
SCS wrote a letter to both the managers noting that this seemed discriminatory and that, while secular humanists do not generally engage in disruptive tactics like demonstrations, there was plenty of reason for us to be concerned considering the number of religious books that Chapters regularly displays.
The Waterloo store manager consulted with the district manager (or titles based on function) who reversed their decisions and welcomed Karis and her books into the stores. That district manager noted that the meeting with the Waterloo manager was a “teaching moment.”
More recently, SCS received an email from a person regarding what that person regards as inappropriate participation by a religious group in public elementary school activities. The religion in question was posting and distributing advertisements for a religious camp using pictures of space vehicle and other images that led many students to think it was a space or science camp. The religion was also providing a ginger bread house building opportunity in the same school
SCS emailed the principal of the school requesting further clarification and was referred to the Community Information and Engagement Officer for the local school board. SCS emailed that person on December 19, just before winter break, and awaits a reply from that person.